This section includes some examples of UCAS personal statements from applicants who successfully got in to medical school. We have divided them into 2 categories; graduates and school leavers. We have removed some information in order to retain confidentiality.
Personal Statements by Graduates
I graduated from Bristol University with First Class Honours in Chemistry in 2000 and, after taking some time out to travel in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, began working for XXXX. Since leaving university I have carefully considered my career aspirations and ambitions. I have concluded that a career in medicine will provide me with the life-long personal and intellectual challenges that I am seeking whilst allowing me to use my analytical, scientific and communication skills in a caring capacity.
I am currently working as a part-time volunteer at XXXX hospital, where I assist the nurses with the needs of the elderly patients. My role involves talking to patients and listening to their concerns, as well as helping them with walking, eating and other basic practical needs. Caring for patients who are suffering from a wide range of conditions, from strokes to physical injuries, has given me a greater appreciation of the emotional and physical demands of caring for sick and vulnerable people. I have also developed an understanding of the importance of sympathetic, clear and effective communication with the patients, many of whom find it difficult to hear, speak or understand language and have learned to adapt the way I communicate accordingly. Observing first-hand the challenges and difficulties that those working at XXXX face, both on a personal and professional level, has given me an appreciation of the degree of commitment and dedication required to be a successful medical practitioner.
All my volunteering work is done outside office hours as I am currently working full-time at XXXX. The company specialises in managing aid-funded projects in developing countries and also runs the leading website for consultants and consulting firms working in this field. My role involves building and maintaining business relationships with corporate clients, NGOs and other development organisations, running the company’s web portal, managing the company’s online advertising services, liasing with member consultants and supervising administrative staff. I also work closely with the CEO to develop and refine company strategy. The role has provided me with valuable experience of communicating on a professional level, solving business-related problems, working hard under pressure to meet deadlines and taking strategic decisions. I believe this experience will provide a useful grounding for medical training and practice.
Throughout my life I have taken part in activities and events that have involved working with other people for a common outcome. As a top music scholar at school I played in numerous concerts and competitions and achieved Grade 8 on both the ‘cello and piano. I also organised and performed in two highly successful concerts that raised over ?2000 for charity. In addition to my musical activities, I have travelled extensively and completed several long-distance treks in the Himalayas, South-East Asia and New Zealand. I have also recently completed a two-day First Aid course and subsequently passed the exam to receive my certification.
Working in the medical profession will provide me with life-long personal and intellectual challenges and I believe that I can draw upon my experiences, skills and attributes to pursue this career successfully.
Motivation: My motivation to pursue a career in medicine has developed from a variety of sources. During both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees I have been interested in biological mechanisms relating to psychological issues and I have thus pursued research in psychoneuroimmunology. I have found this very interesting and have realised that I would like to have a role with a greater emphasis on biochemistry and physiology. Furthermore, my masters dissertation involved a study of XXX, giving me valuable time to talk to patients about their experiences and to observe the clinical team preparing patients for surgery, which I have very much enjoyed. I have found my experiences in a health care environment extremely interesting and challenging and they have assured me of my motivation to work in this area. However, it is working directly with patients and shadowing doctors that has truly solidified my determination to become a doctor.
Work experience: During my teenage years and my time as an undergraduate, I worked as a volunteer for various community projects including working with children and people with learning disabilities. More recently, I have taken on the responsibility of working for my local hospice on a voluntary basis, assisting, with meal times, patient transportation and day trips. I have found the caring aspects of this role very rewarding and I am committed to continuing as a volunteer for as long as possible. I have also spent time in both a general practice surgery and a rheumatology clinic, observing the interaction between doctors and their patients, which provided a useful introduction to the experiences of professional doctors. In addition, I have undertaken a shadowing role at a busy London hospital, observing the activities of doctors of varying seniority in gastroenterology cases, general medicine and accident and emergency. I feel this experience has provided me with an invaluable insight into the physical, emotional and mental pressures involved in the realities of life as a doctor and has served to confirm my desire to pursue this career.
Other relevant experience: I feel my academic and professional experience will provide a strong foundation upon which to begin my medical training. Studying psychology has made me appreciate the importance of patient beliefs and behaviour in predicting outcomes and the role of doctor-patient communication in this relationship. I therefore believe my training in psychology will provide an ideal background from which to begin my medical degree. In addition, my previous post as research assistant involved interviewing health care professionals to explore issues surrounding teamwork, adult learning and continuing professional development. This has highlighted the importance of communication within health care teams and interdisciplinary working in patient care, which I am keen to take forward into my career. Finally, I am about to begin a new research assistant role in cancer prevention, which I hope will provide further relevant experience.
Personal information: I believe I have many of the personal qualities necessary to become a good doctor, being sociable, conscientious, patient, caring and compassionate. In my spare time I enjoy swimming and jogging and have an active social life. I work well within a team and I am currently organising a group of friends to train for a charity run next year. Most importantly, I believe I will be capable of balancing the demands of my professional life with those of my personal life, which is clearly essential in the medical profession.
(This person received offers from one graduate entry course and one five year course. They were interviewed for a further graduate entry course but did not get past the interview stage.)
Personal Statements by School Leavers:
We do not have any examples from school leavers at present, but will be adding some to this section in the near future.
There are also various example personal statements available on the web (judge for yourself whether they are good examples).